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The Global Challenges Retreat
Is The Second Half Of Your Journey…

The Global Challenges Retreat Can Help You Finally Fulfill, That Deeper Calling…

It’s a calling that persists even while you pursue and continue to achieve academic, professional and corporate success. Deep down, you know the world is changing and you want to make a difference, put your passions first, break with convention and be part of the generational shift towards sustainability and solutions to the planet’s biggest problems. Your unrelenting desire has already made the choice for you, all you need to do, is take the first step and have your hand held while you do.

You are a leader. You are already convinced that there is need for a radical rethink of our economy.

You know it is no longer business as usual and you have already begun the journey of taking action either through planning your escape from corporate/city-life and shifting your lifestyle or starting a business or NGO or collective or an initiative that is all about a healthier planet and more humane world.
But at whatever stage you are at, you feel stuck. You need more ability to take action; more resources or the ability to create a greater impact.

The Global Challenges Retreat 2019 can help you:

  • Develop the confidence and competence to show up more powerfully and make your voice heard
  • Get more stakeholders and partners on board
  • Get the finance you need to take your project/business to another level
  • Get the support and advice of mentors and experts who have walked your road before.

Your success on this stage of your journey is not only crucial to you but the entire planet … are you ready to join the Next-Generation of Sustainability Leaders?

Your Vision For Change Is What The World Needs Right Now

Programme Scope

The Global Challenges Retreat is a three (3) day annual transformative leadership experience for thirty (30) business and social impact leaders from around the world who want to lead the transition to a more sustainable future. Going beyond sustainability and ethical business models, the GCR engages participants in a holistic model for social change and corporate development which integrates some of the latest developments in the fields of neuroscience (in particular as it relates to building empathy capabilities and inclusion), innovation, impact measurement and public policy. This enables participants to develop the leadership skills to build resilience and stimulate innovation, foster real collaboration and align diverse stakeholder interests to create ecosystemic change and societal impact.

The objective of GCR is to catalyse, build capacity and enable empathic leadership and entrepreneurship for ecosystem change.

Previous GCR themes were related to Global Governance and Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year the GCR 2019 theme builds on these with circular thinking and Circular Economy as a primary mechanism for individual, corporate and collective action on Agenda 2030.

With rapid technological change spurring new patterns of patterns of production and consumption, there is now a call for coordinated action to ensure the well-being of society, to understand the evolving role of governments and to rethink how the global economy will work in the 21st century. The Circular Economy provides a coherent framework to guide coordinated action by multiple stakeholders working to build a more sustainable future.

Programme Benefits

In an intense rewilding experience in the beautiful and sacred estate of Embercombe in the UK you will discover how to:

  • Build empathy and improve self-awareness to become a more effective leader and to improve capacity to create systemic impact
  • Deepen connection with nature and re-imagine new ways of being and aligning personal and business goals with natural living systems
  • Be at the forefront of Circular Thinking for Ecosystem Change, learning how to conceptualize, reframe and design new business models for increased profit and purpose.
  • Move beyond traditional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to Corporate Social Opportunity (CSO) integrating circular innovation and new partnership models
  • Initiate local government partnerships and align diverse stakeholders for SDG progress
  • Become a part of a global community of changemakers working to create real ecosystemic change and measurable progress on Agenda 2030.

Who it’s for?

GCR brings together business and social impact leaders from a diverse range of disciplines to take part in an intensive rewilding and practical learning experience that builds empathy, develops innovation capabilities and accelerates momentum for ecosystem change through partnerships.

GCR 2019 is right for you if:

  • You have achieved the career pinnacles you’ve worked hard for in the big metropolises of the world and now you want to leverage that success to return to a more sustainable way of living or you own or you are a key decision-maker in a business, social enterprise or not for profit organisation
  • You understand that a radical shift in mindset supported by strategic action is required in our economy and in the way we produce and consume goods in order to create a sustainable future,
  • You know or have heard about the circular economy model, or you may already even be considering a circular economy initiative and you want to learn more about how you can gain early competitive advantage and become a leader in circular change in your sector
  • You want to create multi-stakeholder (public, private and third sector) partnerships to progress or scale your SDG initiative
  • You want to build your theory of change in such a way that you can attract new SDG impact finance
  • And you want to do all this while stretching yourself mentally, emotionally and physically within a diverse community
"We need leaders today who recognize the tangled complexities of social injustice, the climate crisis, and the entanglements of a complex web of cultures and ecosystems. And we need leaders who can, at the same time, appreciate the particular view of each individual—who exhibit the compassion and equanimity that emerges not from intelligence, study, or ‘expertise,’but from eldership.

In the fullness of time—across the seven generations that stand behind us and the seven generations to come—complexities have a way of disentangling, though they inevitably will reform as new challenges. We need leaders who can hold communities and cultures to right action in service of a greater whole that many have neither the capacity nor privilege of timeto see."

Denise Williams, CEO First Nations Technology

How Does The Global Challenges Retreat Work?

Over three days you are taken through a transformational leadership experience deepening your understanding of:

Your internal wiring and your ability to lead innovative teams

The interconnectedness of all global and local challenges and the problem-space in which your product, service or solution operates

The need for empathy-based systemic solutions and your systems thinking capabilities

Why Empathy?

Building on the work of Fritjof Capra and Otto Scharmer, we believe that at the root of ALL global challenges lies one of more the three Great Divides:

  • the Psychic Divide (the disconnection between our sub–conscious and the conscious selves)
  • the Social Divide (the disconnection between ourselves and others)
  • the Ecological or Systemic Divide (the disconnection between all life on
  • the planet including the living organism of the planet itself)

Our Model is based on a neuroscientific understanding of empathy which we define as ‘truth in connection with the other’ and which embraces four empathic capabilities, the : Emotional | Cognitive | Social | Systemic.

Our three day process takes you through the Empathic Triad of Self, Social and System Empathy to build your capability for the next-generation of social change.

Why the Circular Model?

Circular economy embraces a return to the natural order of living systems and transforming man-made systems of production and consumption into alignment with natural law and living systems.

The Linear Economic Model ‘take-make-use-dispose’ has developed without a systemic understanding of the interconnectedness and the interdependence of all life.

While contemporary Circular Economy theory focuses primarily on systems of supply and demand, production and disposal incorporating primarily the biosphere and the techno-sphere, our approach to circularity embraces the Circular Humansphere pioneered by Alexandre Lemille. The Circular Humansphere depicts an advanced approach of the current Circular Economy model where Humans are considered as our third stock of resources and flows. This Circular Economy 2.0 involves conceptualizing Poverty as Waste in the sense that they are both human invented. The measurement of the well-being in a systemic model thus becomes the “Optimization of Circular Value”

At the Global Challenges Retreat we engage the human element first – as the first unit of transformation and we view strengthened empathic capabilities of human actors at self, social and systemic levels as the core of Circular Economy 2.0 to inform the next-generation of transofrmational leaders.

Our retreat gives preference to entrepreneurs desirous of leading circular innovations and over the 3 days you’ll learn 3 pillar framework laid out below:

Neuroscience of Applied Empathy

Using the U-Solve C.U.R.E™ Empathic Method, you will learn the latest neuroscience-based frameworks for empathic design and innovation. You will learn to deeply understand the problems you are trying to solve, the people your solution aims to serve and to tap into the emotional drivers of key decision-makers.

It is scientifically proven that people make their decisions emotionally and then justify them logically; thus, we enable you to persuade others to take action by building your Emotional, Cognitive, Social and Systemic empathic capabilities.

Circular Thinking for System Change

As we move from the age of environmental/social change being primarily driven by centralized – bureaucratic Government bodies with sporadic political will, donation-dependent third sector actors and uninspired Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Agendas, we embrace an era where positive human, social and environmental change drives policy, innovation and business growth as an inherent parameter for all action.

The interconnectedness of global challenges and the interdependence of all actors requires new ways of being and doing which are holistic in approach and rigorous about impact. Circular thinking (not to be confused with circular reasoning) enables you to understand the connections in a complex system, analyse impacts, develop personal and organizational agility and harness diversity for creativity and resilience.

Next-Generation Sustainability Leadership

The mindset shift to move beyond traditional theory of corporate social obligations to embracing social challenges as business opportunities for growth and impact, defines the next-generation of sustainability leadership. Next-Generation Sustainability leaders also recognize their interconnectedness and interdependence within a complex system and develop the capabilities to initiate, design, negotiate and lead multi-stakeholder partnerships for social progress. Aligning with the Global Goals Agenda the Global Challenges Retreat framework introduces the Public Private Purpose Partnership (4P) Model

which enables participants with a unique strategy for attracting impact finance to scale initiatives.


See what our participants have to say about U-Solve programmes and events

The world requires the Next-Generation of Sustainability Leaders NOW. Not tomorrow, not one year from now, and certainly not ten years from now. If you are going to really make a difference, there’s no better time to start than today.

Reserve your spot in the next Global Challenges Retreat today,
before all of the spots are taken!
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